ARC Review: Blood Crown by Ali Cross

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Series: The Eden Project #1
Genres: YA, Sci-fi, Romance
Published: February 20th 2014 by Novel Ninjutsu
Form: ARC

Androids have claimed power over what remains of the human race. They rule without remorse. They are the Mind and humans exist only to serve them. But it wasn't always so. Before the android uprising, select droids, called Servants, were pivotal in engineering a new human race with nanotechnology enhanced DNA. The Blood Crown theorum was to be humanity's crowning glory and the key to their survival in deep space. But Serantha, Daughter of the West, was the last female to receive Gifts from her Servant and when the Mind mutinied, she was hidden away, and presumed dead. Without Serantha there is no hope of the Blood Crown being realized so Nicolai, Son of the East, abandons his crown to join the rebel forces. He might not provide the future for his people he had once dreamed of, but he will not go down without a fight. When Nicolai discovers Sera among a small compliment of kitchen staff, everything changes--but Sera's Gifts were never completed and she is ill-equipped to face a legion of androids determined to wipe her, and every other human, out of existence.
 Their only hope is the Blood Crown--but even if Serantha and Nicolai can realize their potential it may be too late to save mankind.

The Review

ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 This book floats somewhere among the in-between of good and bad. While there were things that I really enjoyed, some other things bothered me a lot. In any case, this wasn't a particularly bad book.

 First of all, it took me a very long time to get engrossed in the pages. The main issue would probably be that there were three different POVs in the book. It's something I do enjoy when done properly. Here we have Sera, Nicolai and Archibald (Sera's Servant-droid)'s POV. I preferred Sera's POV, not because she was interesting, but because it was the only one that I felt was mandatory. The others simply ruined the flow of the story.

  The book lacked explanations that I would have preferred in the first book itself. There's a high chance the author will get on with explaining things in the sequels, but it just won't be the same. First and foremost, why did the Servant droids start playing around with human DNA? Why did they need survive in space? There was no crisis provided. As far as we know, all was well for the humans. After a flimsy starting, the story started building up. I was ready for buckets of suspense, two to three battle sequences and maybe a bit of hellfire here and there. My anticipation for one hell of a climax was almost hard to control when suddenly - poof! All of it just..disappears. Not battles, nothing.

 Imagine my disappointment when I realized it wasn't a climax at all and the story was like just around 60% in. Afterwards, things just dragged on with more romance than action.

 As for the characters, Sera's character portrayal felt a bit feeble to me. I had trouble connecting with her character since she lacked the kind of depth I was expecting. Her character development from a little girl working in the kitchens to a Queen felt overly rushed. I didn't feel like she was a Queen.

 Nicolai was a bit better than Sera but I had some minor issues. When they meet, he hides his true identity from Sera for a reason that is almost insignificant compared to the survival of the human race from the webs of the droids. He rushed into things with little to no use of his brain which only proved he wasn't a fit ruler either.

 Their romance was an on-and-off thing while Sera got her memories back. After a few kissing scenes was when I started rolling my eyes. They become dependent on each other. Sure, they were basically one person after a uh, some techy wechy stuff that my brain fails to recall but there's just something about seeing characters shine as individuals instead of a team.

 The one character I did like was Archibald, and what happened to him was unfair.

In conclusion: Great world-building that lack much explanation, enjoyable scientific elements, poorly constructed characters, not enough action, and too much romance. Could be a much better series.

Actual rating: 2.5 stars